Press Herald Q&A with Vets First Choice CEO Ben Shaw ’00 about a ‘transformative time’ in veterinary medicine

Portland Press Herald staff writer Edward Murphy interviews Ben Shaw ’00, CEO of Vets First Choice, an online business that partners with veterinarians to provide pet medicines and supplies to owners.

The Portland, Maine-based company has signed up more than 10,000 veterinarians so far, Murphy reports, and was recently named the 24th fastest-growing company in the U.S. by Inc Magazine with three-year growth of 8,585 percent and annual revenues of $14.6 million.

Ben Shaw '00, CEO of Vets First Choice, speaks with guests at a Welcome Event for President Clayton Spencer at the Portland Museum of Art on May 8, 2013. (Mike Bradley/Bates College)

Ben Shaw ’00, CEO of Vets First Choice, speaks with guests at a Welcome Event for President Clayton Spencer at the Portland Museum of Art on May 8, 2013. (Mike Bradley/Bates College)

In simple terms, Vets First Choice enters the picture when a pet owner needs a medication.

“Vets are having to stock all these medications in the event someone might walk in the door and need it,” Shaw says. “It’s inefficient to have so many medications on hand for a relatively small customer base.”

Instead, a pet owner can order medication from Vets First Choice.

“It’s really a transformative time in veterinary medicine, and veterinarians are fascinating and terrific customers,” Shaw says.

“Increasingly, veterinarians are ending the inventorying of medicines in their practices. The medicines ship from our warehouse to the client, and the vet no longer has to be burdened with [carrying] a large amount of product. We have a lot of practices where we manage probably 80 percent-plus of their inventory.”

 

 

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